‘Give Credit to the Activists’: ‘The Nation’ Lists the 20th Century’s 50 Most Influential Progressives

The Nation Lists the 20th Centurys 50 Most Influential Progressives

Saul Alinsky

The Nation has just compiled a list of the “Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century.”

They introduce the list, which excludes elected officials, by saying:

A hundred years ago, any soapbox orator who called for women’s suffrage, laws protecting the environment, an end to lynching, workers’ right to form unions, a progressive income tax, a federal minimum wage, old-age insurance, the eight-hour workday and government-subsidized healthcare would be considered an impractical utopian dreamer or a dangerous socialist. Now we take these ideas for granted. The radical ideas of one generation are often the common sense of the next. When that happens, give credit to the activists and movements that fought to take those ideas from the margins to the mainstream. We all stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of radicals and reformers who challenged the status quo of their day.

The list recognizes known progressives from Margaret Sanger to Saul Alinsky, but also includes men like Martin Luther King

 I doubt (am sure not) that MLK Jr. would consider himself a Progressive in the Sanger, Alinsky, Clinton or Obama category.  He wanted progress but wanted rights, equality and freedom for all, unlike true Progressives who are radicals that want to control everyone and everything and consider themselves the elites.


Margaret Sanger

The Nation describes Margaret Sanger as “a nurse among poor women on New York City’s Lower East Side and [an] advocate for women’s health. In 1912 she gave up nursing and dedicated herself to the distribution of information about birth control (a term she’s credited with inventing), risking imprisonment for violating the Comstock Act, which forbade distribution of birth control devices or information…”

Sanger’s description does not include the fact that she believed in eugenics and wanted to eliminate “undesirables” from society. However, The Nation precipitated such objections, and wrote in the list’s introduction, “They made mistakes, which may be understandable in historical context, but which should be acknowledged as part of their lives and times.”

Other recognizable names on the list included W.E.B. Du Bois, Upton Sinclair, Eleanor Roosevelt, Woody Guthrie, Ella Baker, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Malcom X, and Michael Moore.

At the end of the slide show, The Nation asked for readers to select eleven figures whom they believed made the biggest difference in the twentieth century. The results showed Howard Zinn to be number one, followed by Naom Chomsky.

The Nation Lists the 20th Centurys 50 Most Influential Progressives

Eleanor Roosevelt (Photo: The Nation)

See the first slide show here, and the second, here.

Source: Posted on March 18, 2012 at 10:07pm by Erica RitzErica Ritz at the Blaze

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About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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